School officials at L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas sent a letter on Tuesday alerting parents to a number of hazing incidents involving incoming freshmen, reports local ABC affiliate KVUE.
Anderson High is located in a comfortable residential area of Austin, and the letter pretty much describes the plot of “Dazed and Confused,” a 1993 cult classic that chronicles events on the last day of school in summer 1976—in the suburbs of Austin.
In “Dazed and Confused,” rising seniors (and Ben Affleck’s character, a repeating senior) hunt down incoming freshman boys and paddle them mercilessly.
At Anderson High, school district officials and Austin police are now investigating reports that juniors and seniors enrolled in the school are hunting down incoming freshman and paddling them mercilessly.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, district officials say local police are now involved because the beatings have allegedly occurred off campus. (A police representative was mum about any investigation, however.)
The letter separates athletes and non-athletes, for some reason, and then explains that anonymous tipsters claim that both groups have been “welcoming” students to campus with whippings.
“We have had indications that paddling had occurred in years past, but, no one would identify who was involved so that we could act,” the letter states. “I just want to let you know that is difficult to hear about this unacceptable behavior among our Anderson students.”
The school principal, Donna Houser, signed the missive to parents. The athletic coordinator and the international baccalaureate coordinator provided their John Hancocks as well.
The letter explains that Anderson High students say freshmen spankings are some beloved and traditional rite of passage.
“That is what they do at Anderson,” said one unidentified source, according to the letter.
Unnamed sources also said, “Only popular kids are invited to be paddled,” and “It is the way freshmen show they respect juniors and seniors.”
“I was paddled, so I have to paddle incoming freshmen, too,” someone brilliantly reasoned.
“If you don’t get paddled, you are not considered to be welcomed into the campus,” is another quote.
“Boys will be boys,” is still another, suggesting that female students aren’t involved in the annual hazing ritual.
The letter warns that students who hazed other students — or watched hazing occur and didn’t do anything about it — will be banned from their extracurricular activities of choice for a year.
A reporter from KEYE-TV, the CBS affiliate for the region, interviewed the veritable student on the street about the hazing allegations.
“I just heard that underclassmen are getting paddled,” sophomore Elisha Bunton said.
“Our coaches have been telling us about it,” she added. “Not to get involved in it or we’ll be out of athletics completely.”